There is growing confusion – in the media, the community, and amongst investors and business – about what the state government actually intends to do with regards to its wind farm policy.
In the press release on the first 100 days of power the government said it had “started delivering on our election commitment to ensure homes within two kilometres of proposed wind turbines are considered in planning applications and restored the authority of local government for all new wind farm permits”.
In March, the Weekly Times reported:
“the Victorian Government will allow rural residents to veto wind-farm developments within 2km of their homes.
That’s the promise of Planning Minister Matthew Guy, criticised last week after seemingly weakening the Coalition commitment on a 2km setback for wind farms.”
Yet a week or so later, when industry groups expressed concerns about future developments, ABC TV news (21/3/11) ran the following interview:
“Pacific Hydro … fears a small number of disgruntled residents will soon have the power to veto multi-million dollar projects.
But the Planning Minister says that’s not the case.
Matthew Guy: “What we are simply saying is residents that do live that close to turbines they should have the right to be consulted, under the current regime by Labor that we’re changing, they didn’t, and I don’t think that’s good enough.”
So, Mr Guy, what’s it to be? Will residents be ‘considered’, ‘consulted’ or will they have right of veto over projects?